Paris 2017

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My grandma: “Sara, take a picture of me taking a picture of you!”

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I’m finally getting around to selecting and editing about a million 500 pictures from my past month in Europe.  I know I should be better about editing photos so they don’t pile up, but I’m just having too much fun on my trip, and sometimes the trains don’t have wifi that I can use to edit while I’m riding to a new destination (first world problems).  However, thanks to a super rad, wifi-enabled train from Stockholm to Gothenburg, I now have a bunch of photos edited and ready to share.  Thx uber-cool Swedish train.

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The first stop on my trip was Paris, and I was just sososo happy to 1. be in Europe in general, and 2. be back in Paris!!  Last time I was in the city, I only had one full day, so I was extra excited to spend a few more days and see the sights.  One of my favorite parts of Paris aside from the wine, cheese, and pastries is how much there is to see and do.  It’s also one of my favorite places to get pictures with all of the romantic scenes and flower + produce markets around town.  Ugh ♥


Here are some things that I did + some restaurant recommendations:

  • Eiffel Tower (duh) – make sure to drop by after dark, get a nice seat, and catch the twinkle lights!  I believe they go off at 10:55 and 11:55 in the summer, and it is definitely worth a visit.  Don’t forget a bottle of wine or prosecco and a picnic blanket!
  • The Palace of Versailles + the gardens + the horse carriage museum !!
  • Au Pied de Cochon – their French Onion soup was really good, but I think weirdly enough their green bean salad is what won me over.  Also they have their own signature song!
  • The street shops along the Seine – knick-knacks, art, books, etc.  Some of my favorite art in my house I bought two years ago from an artist selling his drawings on the sidewalk in Paris.
  • One of the many cafes along the Seine – stop by for a glass of wine or coffee after checking out the shops.  I’ll be the first to admit that the coffee is definitely not my favorite, but the atmosphere is worth it.  Also, I didn’t have a chance to try any specialty shops out (boooo), but I’ve heard Paris has a really cool specialty coffee scene.
  • Shakespeare & Co. – I think this may be my new favorite bookstore – I walked in serendipitously not realizing how well-known it is!  But lucky me, I found it and discovered its diverse range of genres + amazing history.
  • Monet’s Gardens in Vernon-Giverny  – one of my favorite parts of my trip was getting to visit Monet’s house and gardens!  The gardens themselves are filled with an amazing variety of flowers, plants, and trees.  Monet’s house is absolutely beautiful, and I completely fell in love with the kitchen.  Plus you get to check out a bunch of his paintings!!  Just take the short train ride over to Giverny, it’s such a lovely half-day trip.
  • Notre Dame – I didn’t get to climb to the top, but I totally recommend going if you can!  If you like churches, the inside is very pretty.
  • The Louvre – I went to The Louvre at night when it was less busy – while I didn’t stay for very long, I managed to wave hi at Mona and check out the Winged Victory of Samothrace!
  • Restaurant Aux anysetiers du Roy – probably the best Boeuf Bourguignon I’ve ever had evereverever in my life – it’s a one-woman show around there, so try to go before or after rush hours.
  • BRIEZH Cafe – crepes!!  Of course make sure to get some good crepes while strolling around Paris – my choices were the ham & cheese and the caramel apple, and they did not disappoint.
  • Street markets – one of my other favorite parts of Paris is strolling through the street markets looking at pretty produce, charcuterie, cheese, and flowers! – one time I had a chocolate croissant from a walk-up bakery, and I swear to god it changed my life.  I haven’t found that market bakery since *cries*.

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xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Let it be Me by Ray LaMontagne

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The Guide To Kauai

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Hello everyone!

I am here to share my wonderful, beautiful, amazing trip to Hawaii (finally).  Why did I wait so long to share this?  Because this is my (drumroll please) 50th post!  50 posts.  1 year.  Not to bad, huh?

I went to Hawaii late in July for 9 days and it was literally the best trip I have ever been on.  I cannot imagine a more beautiful paradise to spend a week of vacation on.

I decided to document all of the activities we did so I could share the best things to do with you!

We stayed in the beautiful town of Koloa on Poipu Beach at the Sheraton Hotel.  This was a great location because it was pretty close to every event we wanted to do, plus there were a ton of restaurants and shops to go to!

Here we go.  Get excited.

1.  Go see the Spouting Horn.

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The Spouting Horn is a famous blowhole in Kauai and was only about 5 minutes from our hotel.  You have to drive through a residential area to find it, but once you see it you’ll know.  Walk down the path for a few minutes, and there’s a nice little cabana of outdoor shops to take care of all your Hawaiian souvenir needs.  We visited the Spouting Horn while our hotel room was being prepped.  Then we went back and had a nice nap.  (7 hours on a plane will make you tired).

2. Go on a helicopter!

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The tallest water fall in Hawaii. It runs into 30 different waterfalls.

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Seriously.  Go on a freakin helicopter.  It was the best ever.

We went through Blue Hawaiian.  The tour guide/helicopter pilot was awesome.  For more info visit: http://www.bluehawaiian.com/

3.  Go on a safari (not what you think it might be.  Let me explain…)

This package is a 3 in 1 deal.  You get to kayak, hike, and zipline!  It was amazing.

First, you’ll kayak for 2 miles down the Hule’ia River.  I didn’t get any pictures ):  No phones allowed out in the kayak.

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After, you’ll get off, take a short hike, and end up here, where you can swing on a rope into a small pool of water…

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…A special pool of water.  My biggest celebrity crush, Johnny Depp, filmed part of the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie here.  I died.  To the left of me…yeah, that’s where the mermaid was trapped.  True story.

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You will then take a little trolley to the picnic area where they give you a nice little lunch and some relaxation time.  Then, it’s time for ziplining.  You will get to wear an awesome outfit, like the one I’m wearing above.  Cute, right?

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After ziplining, you will hike again to another pool of water where you can zipline into some freezing cold water full of sea turtles (apparently–I guess they ditch the water once people arrive).  This was actually a lot of fun.

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You can also jump off of the deck into the water.  That’s my brother taking a dive.

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You will then take one more hike through a tall canopy of bamboo…

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…and end up on a boat back to the shuttle (or car which is what we took).  They gave us a few boxes of Hawaiian cookies on the way back and told us stories about the legends of the river and surrounding attractions.  The mountains behind me and my brother is actually an ancient Hawaiian burial ground.  Crazy!  If they ask if you want to hear the stories, say YES!

Again, the tour guide was awesome and it was crazy fun.  Bring something to repel masquitos!  I still have marks where I got bit.  For more info visit:  http://www.outfitterskauai.com/kipu-zipline-safari.php

4.  Snorkel

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My mom, brother, and I not actually in our snorkel gear but just having fun swimming!

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The gorgeous view.

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My mom snorkeling through The Tunnels–our favorite place to snorkel!  We did this on my birthday and it was an awesome way to spend the day!

5. Go inner tubing!

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This was crazy fun!  Probably one of my most favorite things I got to do on the island.  The tour had some thrill to it, but still had the feel of a lazy river.  You float in 5 tunnels throughout the “river”, which is actually part of an old irrigation system.

This fills up quick in the summer, so make your reservations at least 2 weeks in advance!

For more information (and the story of the irrigation system) visit: http://www.kauaibackcountry.com/tubing.html

*Along the way, they will take you to a viewing area where you can see the wettest place in the world:

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Mount Waialeale–average rainfall of about 420 inches a year.

6.  After the inner tubing, drive about 10 minutes to the Wailua Falls.

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Take a funny picture.

7.  Visit Hanapepe Town and go to Waimea Canyon.

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A beautiful view on the way there.

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On the way there!

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Beautiful views!

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On the way back!  Not only will I be living in the Biggest Little City in the World in about 3 days, but I also got to visit Kauai’s Biggest Little Town!

More little things to do…

1. See the sunset.

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See the beautiful Hawaiian sunset and climb some lava rocks!  Also, play in the ocean.

2. Relax on the beach for a few days (duh).

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The water is so warm so go swimming.  Try not to get knocked over by the waves when you’re right next to the shore (good luck).  My mom and I bought inner tubes, went farther out into the ocean, and had an amazing time swimming!

3.  See the ocean at night.

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Gotta love that reflection.  And the cloudy night.  Thankfully, we got a full moon (:

4.  Go to Tortilla Republic

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Breakfast is awesome.  Dinner is awesome.  Go there.  Kukuiula Shopping Center.  (Great shops too).

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Have a Hawaiian beer.

5.  Go to a luau.

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6. Go behind the stores at The Shops at Kukuilua for a beautiful view.

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7.  See a seal (hopefully!)

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There he is!

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Awwww…

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…look how happy he is in the sunshine.

8.  Make leis.  Release them into the wild when you’re done.  In Hawaii, you take what you need from nature and always return it.

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9.  Go to Bubba’s.  Yummm.

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10.  Meet the locals.

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11.  Go to Keoki’s Paradise.  We went there 3 times.  Once for my birthday.  Mmmm.

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My dad was trying to eat dessert and take a picture at the same time, hence the blurry, but this is me eating my birthday Hula Pie (mint chip was my fave).

12.  Get shaved ice!

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We went at least once a day (if not twice).  Try out Uncle’s Shave Ice.  It’s da best.

13.  Find you Hawaiian name.

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14.  Cry when you leave.  And start planning your next trip.

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I want to go back to Hawaii so bad.  Soon!

A few tips:

Bring a water proof camera.  My biggest regret.  I would redo that if I could.

Don’t bring small kids.  I’m sorry.  You cannot do most of these activities unless you’re a certain age.  If you plan on bringing your children to the beach or pools, I would say just go to a beach closer to your home and save tons of money.  I guarantee I would not have known the difference between Hawaii and California when I was five years old.  And then you can have more money for all of these amazing activities when your children are my age!

This is just my personal opinion because the best part of the trip was all of the adventures we took.  However, it is all up to you.

If you have any questions about Hawaii, any of the things we did, or anything else don’t be afraid to ask!

XOXO Sara